Key West?

  • ChilaxinJOCK0...

    Posts: 1513

    Aug 20, 2012 4:38 AM GMT
    Is Key West still as "gay populated" as it used to be? I've heard its not as much anymore these days....
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 20, 2012 4:59 AM GMT
    Key West does not have as many permanent gay residents as it once did, but gay tourists remain fairly numerous. What has changed was the creation of docking for large cruise ships. So that Old Town gets flooded with straight tourists, not unlike a Caribbean island, which dilutes the gay presence.

    There has also been an increase in straight hotel rooms over the last few decades. And I'm told much of the private property is being bought by straights and corporations, following the typical pattern of gays revitalizing a run-down area, only to be priced-out by their own success.

    When I first visited in 1973 it was more of an artists & hippie enclave, and one of the first places where gays could be out without too much hassle. In this respect its history has somewhat paralleled Provincetown (P-town) on Cape Cod, where we also go.

    If you have questions please ask me, we go there fairly often and stay at the gay guest houses. We're also friends with some of the business owners and residents, 2 of whom are RJ members, and so we know some of the non-touristy stuff, too.
  • ChilaxinJOCK0...

    Posts: 1513

    Aug 20, 2012 5:14 AM GMT
    haha thanks. I was just checking out apartment rental prices and what not down there. My friend Mallory moved there and she LOVES it and Id love to live there too. But she was telling me that shes suprised that its not as ''gay'' as she thought it would be...
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 20, 2012 5:49 AM GMT
    ChilaxinJOCK09 saidhaha thanks. I was just checking out apartment rental prices and what not down there. My friend Mallory moved there and she LOVES it and Id love to live there too. But she was telling me that shes suprised that its not as ''gay'' as she thought it would be...

    No, even a lot of the merchants play down the gay, to attract the increasingly straight business. It's fun to watch the reaction of tourists from the US midwest when they see gay PDAs on the sidewalk.

    Or I'll lean over the rainbow flag-decked balcony outside our room and see the tourists on Duval Street below pointing at me and the flags, since the rainbow is universally understood now. And I'll overhear comments just 15 feet below, like "Look, it's one of those gays" or "That must be where the gays stay" and so forth. I wonder if they view us as tourist attractions, or more akin to zoo animals.

    Here's that balcony:

    P1010169-Version2.jpg

    Looking up from Duval Street. At night those open bar doors on the left give tourists a good view of the male crowd cheering the nearly-naked male dancers:

    file-97.jpg

    Early Sunday morning before the tourists hit the sidewalks. I think even someone from Ohio can figure out who patronizes this place:

    file-102.jpg
  • ChilaxinJOCK0...

    Posts: 1513

    Aug 20, 2012 1:15 PM GMT
    nice haha. Zoo animals LOL
  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Aug 20, 2012 1:18 PM GMT
    Really awesome visits there myself! Having said that, I've probably only seen a few other day couple or gay guys around. Having said that, I don't go looking at bars or really get into the party scene. It was time with my partner or with friends and was was plenty. What a great time!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 20, 2012 2:19 PM GMT
    Too many Jews.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 20, 2012 2:33 PM GMT
    HndsmKansan saidReally awesome visits there myself! Having said that, I've probably only seen a few other day couple or gay guys around. Having said that, I don't go looking at bars or really get into the party scene. It was time with my partner or with friends and was was plenty. What a great time!

    Obviously we love KW, too, as evidenced by our frequent trips there. And I've been going since 1973, for over the first 20 years by motorcycle. At first I rode over the converted Flagler railroad bridges, which were narrow nightmares, the ones you see crumbling today next to the modern replacement bridges. I suppose I should add that I also pedal to KW on my bicycle, as I'll be doing again this November.

    We see gay guys everywhere there, and not just in the gay bars. Because at our ages we don't party much anymore, at least not the hard head-banging stuff, and we avoid the drag shows even though we know the owner of one place and get free admission. Although we have done Fantasy Fest, which is heavily gay, because friends were involved. So we really don't hold-up in gay-only places.

    What I don't see a lot are classically flamboyant gays. That seems to be a dying breed, or maybe the mascara runs too much in the KW heat. What I do see are lots of middle-American gay couples, drawn by advertisements for the gay guest houses & resorts, something they don't have in Kansas.

    It takes a bit of gaydar to spot them, but as I sit on the veranda pictured above and sip a drink, or at my iPad over leisurely morning coffee while messaging this site, I look down and see them on the sidewalk. Or zipping along Duval on pairs of rental scooters, or maybe on courtesy bicycles from their guest houses.

    I don't see many gays in the packed tourist trap Sloppy Joes, although I've known a bartender there for years and we'll drop in more to visit than to drink. I won't see them in most of the shops, except for a men's clothing store owned by a good friend of ours that features trendy "gay" fashions.

    I do see gay couples at the evening restaurants we favor, far enough away from Duval that they aren't too overwhelmed with straight tourists, and close enough to Fleming Street where the greatest number of gay guest houses are located. And everyone goes to Mallory Square for the sunsets.

    So I dunno, I still view KW as being heavily, if not overwhelmingly gay. My main complaint is that I wish there weren't so many tourists crowding the sidewalks, it wasn't always like that. I suppose it keeps the money flowing, but the result in places is a tawdrier version of DisneyWorld's Main Street, USA.
  • jock8873

    Posts: 120

    Aug 20, 2012 2:52 PM GMT
    kudos to Art_Deco for all the information..... very accurate....... I go there enough to have a few friends that live there....... they always tell me it's a great place to live, but with everything at tourist prices, they can't afford the living expense unless they have more than one job....
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 20, 2012 2:59 PM GMT
    LIEV saidToo many Jews.


    And what's wrong with that ?? icon_evil.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 20, 2012 5:07 PM GMT
    I lived there for a short while back in its gayday. I had a room in some friends' house on the north end of town but then I hooked up with an older artist, a really interesting guy, and stayed with him on top a gallery right across from the Bull in a room where Hemmingway used to play cards (just to the left of that streetlamp below). We'd climb out the window to have morning coffee on the balcony.

    Key West was magical back then. There's still a lot of magic to the place but its definitely not what it was. Now it's mostly str8s holding hands and flaunting their children. I don't know how they get away with that sort of thing in public.


    View Larger Map
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 20, 2012 5:11 PM GMT
    Anocxu said
    LIEV saidToo many Jews.

    And what's wrong with that ?? icon_evil.gif

    A puzzling statement from a guy whose profile says he is a Jew, who goes to Israel. Perhaps some kind of attempt at humor by LIEV?

    But while I like to think I'm blessed with gaydar good enough to recognize the gays in Key West, I'm equally blessed with a total lack of ability when it comes to knowing whether they are Jewish or not. Perhaps that's why, of all the things I know about KW, the size of the Jewish population is not one of them. Nor one I have any intention of researching.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 20, 2012 5:15 PM GMT
    theantijock saidI lived there for a short while back in its gayday. I had a room in some friends' house on the north end of town but then I hooked up with an older artist, a really interesting guy, and stayed with him on top a gallery right across from the Bull in a room where Hemmingway used to play cards (just to the left of that streetlamp below). We'd climb out the window to have morning coffee on the balcony.

    Key West was magical back then. There's still a lot of magic to the place but its definitely not what it was. Now it's mostly str8s holding hands and flaunting their children. I don't know how they get away with that sort of thing in public.


    View Larger Map

    Do you know The Bull has an open rooftop garden bar that's clothing optional, called the Garden of Eden? Was it there when you lived in KW? I only noticed it about 5 years ago, you use a side entrance stairway I had previously overlooked, but I guess there for a while. I don't go there because they allow women.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 20, 2012 5:23 PM GMT
    El_Crankodor said
    Art_Deco said
    Anocxu said
    LIEV saidToo many Jews.

    And what's wrong with that ?? icon_evil.gif

    A puzzling statement from a guy whose profile says he is a Jew, who goes to Israel. Perhaps some kind of attempt at humor by LIEV?

    But while I like to think I'm blessed with gaydar good enough to recognize the gays in Key West, I'm equally blessed with a total lack of ability when it comes to knowing whether they are Jewish or not. Perhaps that's why, of all the things I know about KW, the size of the Jewish population is not one of them. Nor one I have any intention of researching.

    //facepalm//

    OK, forget I said anything. Only Jews can talk about Jews here. Sorry.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 20, 2012 5:25 PM GMT
    Hmm... I went there for my last vacation. The town itself was choked with cruise ship cattle. I just slept there and spent the days out on the water. Yikes! That was... almost twenty years ago. The Kodachromes are stamped "1993."
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 20, 2012 5:30 PM GMT
    El_Crankodor saidThat's not the point.
    LIEV has made that same joke 200 times on just about every conceivable thread. Why are you acting like it's serious?

    I haven't seen it 200 times. In fact I have him on Ignore. So only by being quoted did I read it here.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 20, 2012 6:25 PM GMT
    Art_Deco saidDo you know The Bull has an open rooftop garden bar that's clothing optional, called the Garden of Eden? Was it there when you lived in KW? I only noticed it about 5 years ago, you use a side entrance stairway I had previously overlooked, but I guess there for a while. I don't go there because they allow women.


    I might vaguely remember an upstairs over the Bull but I'm going back a lot of years now. I do not remember it as an open area, certainly not like the third floor of Village Zoo used to be in Lauderdale. That was another fun place. I had more than my fair share of fun back then so I'm pretty sure I don't recall all the details in full.

    I seem to remember that the Bull was str8 even back when Key West was gay. But there was so much gay back then. I'd been going to Key West from back when the Monster was still there. Now that place was fun!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 20, 2012 8:17 PM GMT
    It is a great place to visit but do not live there. It is very hot and humid for ten months out of the year and is colder than a witches tit for two weeks. Like most of the weather east of the Rockies, there are two nice days that you can sit outside and feel comfortable.

    If you get seriously ill do not go to the hospital. I would compare that place to a third world hospital at best. Even the people that work there go to Miami for care.

    Edit. And I forgot to mention the black scorpions. They are the size of small lobsters. So, if you really are determined to live there make sure your apartment is well sealed, all the doors and windows

    and good luck.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 20, 2012 8:48 PM GMT
    theantijock saidI might vaguely remember an upstairs over the Bull but I'm going back a lot of years now. I do not remember it as an open area, certainly not like the third floor of Village Zoo used to be in Lauderdale.

    The Bull has a second floor bar called the Whistle Bar. But the clothing optional Garden of Eden is on the roof, what would be the third floor. It's mostly open to the sky with lots of potted shrubbery, somewhat reminiscent of a rooftop penthouse. I think it was added not too many years ago, but I'm not sure, maybe just when it went clothing optional.
  • Import

    Posts: 7190

    Aug 20, 2012 9:11 PM GMT
    LIEV saidToo many Jews.


    icon_lol.gif There's now a code word that gentiles use for jews, but im not telling u.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 20, 2012 9:39 PM GMT
    Art_Deco said
    theantijock saidI might vaguely remember an upstairs over the Bull but I'm going back a lot of years now. I do not remember it as an open area, certainly not like the third floor of Village Zoo used to be in Lauderdale.

    The Bull has a second floor bar called the Whistle Bar. But the clothing optional Garden of Eden is on the roof, what would be the third floor. It's mostly open to the sky with lots of potted shrubbery, somewhat reminiscent of a rooftop penthouse. I think it was added not too many years ago, but I'm not sure, maybe just when it went clothing optional.


    Sorry, no, don't recall at all. I do recall some nudist parties though I'm not certain where they were, including my first ever when I learned quickly that when everyone else is naked, remaining clothed made me feel like I was the only one naked. When in Key West...
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 20, 2012 10:14 PM GMT
    Oh good golly.. I live there now half the time. there are plenty of gays........ plenty of gay things to do and plenty of Jews.. (I now have friends that tell me where I can get yummy knishes.. there are Jewish gays too! One rents a room from me now)
    There is definitely alot of straights but the mix is ok.. down at the waterfront restaurants you can find plenty of both persuasions. Now, when the cruise ship port.. BEAT FEET out of upper Duval/old town........ even the locals beat feet outta there. Its a huge issue right now on the island. The locals hate them, the cruise companies want the channel dredged for even bigger ones! Just plan your trip when a ship is NOT in port.. you'll be fine.. We just had Tropical Heat weekend (my pic should be part of next years advertising!)... lats of naked men running around at the resorts and clubs.. Bone island was last month..
    Gay (all day boating trips (clothing optional, all men)) Gay dinner cruises.. etc. Most of the locals entertain themselves, so dont expect them in the bars/clubs 7 days a week. But they are there in good numbers..
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 20, 2012 10:15 PM GMT
    theantijock said
    Art_Deco said
    theantijock saidI might vaguely remember an upstairs over the Bull but I'm going back a lot of years now. I do not remember it as an open area, certainly not like the third floor of Village Zoo used to be in Lauderdale.

    The Bull has a second floor bar called the Whistle Bar. But the clothing optional Garden of Eden is on the roof, what would be the third floor. It's mostly open to the sky with lots of potted shrubbery, somewhat reminiscent of a rooftop penthouse. I think it was added not too many years ago, but I'm not sure, maybe just when it went clothing optional.


    Sorry, no, don't recall at all. I do recall some nudist parties though I'm not certain where they were, including my first ever when I learned quickly that when everyone else is naked, remaining clothed made me feel like I was the only one naked. When in Key West...
    Bone Island parties are MANDATORY 'no clothes'icon_wink.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 20, 2012 10:48 PM GMT
    TropicalMark saidBone Island parties are MANDATORY 'no clothes'icon_wink.gif


    Got your party point but I can still remember how kind everyone was to me at my first nude party, all assuring me that I was perfectly fine keeping my bathing suit on if that's what I preferred. Of course, at the time, I didn't realize they were just playing me with reverse psychology. Those horny bastards. Eh, fuck it. I wound up having a great time.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 20, 2012 10:59 PM GMT
    theantijock said
    TropicalMark saidBone Island parties are MANDATORY 'no clothes'icon_wink.gif


    Got your party point but I can still remember how kind everyone was to me at my first nude party, all assuring me that I was perfectly fine keeping my bathing suit on if that's what I preferred. Of course, at the time, I didn't realize they were just playing me with reverse psychology. Those horny bastards. Eh, fuck it. I wound up having a great time.
    Thats ALL that counts!icon_wink.gif